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The Pretentious Beer Glass Company

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Matt Cummings invited me to a tasting at his studio to try out his handmade mouth-blown glassware. I missed the event at Holy Grale a few weeks back, and really, I think I got a lot more out of the personal tasting with the artist/scientist behind this great glassware. I brought Cresant Smith (Great friend and LouisvilleBeer.com writer) and Phil Dearner (Friend of LouisvilleBeer.com and the Beerpimp for Bluegrass Brewing Company) along for the ride.

We brought along some howlers of BBC fresh from the taproom, and Matt generously gave us free reign of his leopard-print beer fridge (nice touch, Matt!). We tried multiple styles of beers from all of his glasses, and were impressed by all of them. We saw a few prototypes, and Matt helped us understand the process of making great glassware. My favorite of the bunch was the Aromatic Beer Glass with the mountain in the center of it. We left some Bourbon Barrel Stout in it during the tasting, and even after 20 minutes, the beer still had a nice layer of head on it, with the mountain peaking out of the dark stout. I couldn’t stop taking photos of it. I would love to try some bourbon out of this one too.

Phil couldn’t keep the Malty glass out of his hands. This glass had a great big opening to let even the biggest of noses smell the aroma of whatever beer was inside, and we tried quite a few out of it. We all agreed this glass would be great with any unfiltered beers, because the lower neck keeps the sediment out of your mouth. We also had an IPA out of this glass, and the aroma added so much great hop character. I think this glass would even make water taste better.

Cresant seemed to like the Dual glass. It was truly a piece of art. We mixed some pretty crazy concoctions in this glass. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Guiness? Sure, why not! It wasn’t as odd as it sounds. Depending on which side of the glass you drank from, you’d get a little bit more from one side. So, if there was too much 90 Minute IPA in the last sip (blasphemy!), then switch sides and get a bit more Guiness next time. What a wonderful idea for a beer glass. I would love to have one or two in my collection.

The Hoppy beer glass was also a nice experience, the subtle tulip shape also opened the beer up with great aromas. The finger grips were also a nice touch. Cresant, however, didn’t think so, being left-handed and all. Phil suggested she just use the glass upside down.

Matt has an Etsy shop online, but I’m sure he’d love to set up an appointment to show you his wares. His studio is located at Mellwood Arts Center, and of course you can find him on Facebook.

Glassware and Descriptions

(Photos and text below from The Pretentious Beer Glass Company)

This might be the most versatile glass of the set. It is a variation on a typical pint glass that highlights most ales, lighter beers, and hefeweizens. This is an extremely popular glass design for a reason, and I didn't see any need for drastic alteration to it's form. But I had to make it mine (as far as design goes), so I went graffiti on it. Take a recognized format, bomb it, and make it your own. Hence the 'stache. This glass is designed to highlight any aromatic beer and or high ABV beer. Obviously reminiscent of the snifter or full bodied red wine glass, it concentrates the volatiles and aromatics of the beer to properly enhance the experience. The main design element is an abstract mountain pushed into the bottom of the glass. As you drink the beverage, the mountain is slowly revealed, emerging from the dark liquid. This is the first specialty glass released by the Pretentious Beer Glass Company. It is a cylindrical beer glass with two separate chambers inside that combine into one towards the lip. I first began working on this design after having a bartender incorrectly pour a Half and Half, blending the two beers together. This glass is not just the solution to the problem of using a jig to properly pour those types of beers, but it allows you to mix any two beers, even ones that have similar viscosities. A wonderful secondary benefit to this glass is that you can smell the bouquet of both beers simultaneously, where normally you only smell the beer that settles on top. This handmade beer glass is designed to highlight hoppy beers, such as IPAs APAs and also light Belgians. The tulip shape is a favorite glass style of high end beer vendors because of its versatility and enhancement of complicated beers. This tulip is engraved with four "fingerprints" on the sides, one for your thumb, and three for your fingers. I make each glass by hand in the hotshop (glass studio) and carve the finger grips on the glass the old fashioned way...lathe cutting. Same process that crystal companies use for their cut crystal glassware, only I leave the glass with a nice satin finish instead of polishing it, which provides better grip. This handmade beer glass is meant to highlight just about any beer with distinct notes of malt...including Stouts, and Porters. The glass is also wonderful for any unfiltered beer. The point coming out of the bottom of the glass allows the sediment to cascade to the outer edge of the bottom. While the lowest "waist" keeps the sedimentation at the bottom and out of your teeth! This handmade beer glass is designed to highlight any lighter flavored beer, Lager, Pilsner, Kolsch, etc. The glass is in the traditional format for the style, a tall, narrow cylindrical shape. Yet it possesses a wonderfully "softened" bottom made by indenting the hot glass with newspaper pads while it is being blown. The "softened" bottom is not only ergonomic, but it reveals all the different hues of each beer by presenting the liquid in different densities.

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